- 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
- 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
- 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
- 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
- 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
- 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
- 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
- 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—
- 30 for we are members of his body.
Intimacy is being close to and concerned for each other other. Christ knows his church intimately and he cares for the church spiritually. Husbands are the spiritual leaders of the home. A godly husband reflects the light of Jesus through the indwelling Holy Spirit. These verses express an ideal standard that both spouses should try to achieve.
- 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
Note: I am not talking about abusive behavior. Do not stay in an abusive relationship. These verses say to care for your spouse as you would feed and care for your body. Abuse isn't doing this.
- 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
- 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Spouses must love each other as themselves and be respectful of each other. Being disrespectful to each other is destructive. It will end your chance for a happy marriage. Your spouse may "suck it up", but not forever. Sooner or later, they are going to quit trying to make you happy. Sarcasm is another destructive way of speaking to each other. It isn't respectful or showing the reverence of Christ.
You are going to have to communicate with your spouse. Just make sure your talks are phrased as "I messages" and not as blame. It takes practice to communicate with your spouse. It isn't going to happen overnight. However, if you are submitting to one another with the reverence of Christ, then you will be a team and learn how to be equal partners. Remember, this is why sports teams have practice - so they are working together and learning to act as one.
Another set of scripture that Bill and I adopted as our "marriage scriptures" is this one:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
In verse 12, the cord of three strands is the Lord, your spouse, and you. You are one cord made of three strands that is not quickly broken. Just make sure that the Lord is the first strand, your spouse is the second strand, and you are the third strand.
I want you to know that what I have written is not professional help. I'm not a counselor. What I am is a spirit-filled, child of God who is relating how my godly husband and I have based our marriage upon the bible. Our marriage is seven years old and our "honeymoon" period has not ended. We put the Lord first, each other second, and then ourselves every day. We have followed the biblical marriage model from the first day of our marriage and it is working for us. My hope is that you will try this biblical marriage model and strengthen your marriage too.